BBC NEWS | Northern Ireland | First NI assembly seats won

First NI assembly seats won

The final results are not expected until Friday
The first results have been announced in the Northern Ireland Assembly election.

In Antrim North, DUP leader Ian Paisley was elected on the first count with 8,732 first preference votes.

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams topped the poll in West Belfast while Gerry Kelly retained his seat in the north of the city.

SDLP leader Mark Durkan was elected on the first count in Foyle, where he topped the poll.

Mr Paisley said it was "a good day for the DUP".

"We are going to have a proper negotiation for a new agreement that will enable the democrats, and the democrats only, to buy into something that is stable," he said.


DUP 0 9
SF 0 5
UUP 0 7
SDLP 0 1
AP 0 0
PUP 0 0
NIWC 0 0
UUC 0 0
NIUP 0 0
UKUP 0 0
After 22 of 108 seats declared

In Lagan Valley, the anti-Agreement Ulster Unionist candidate, Jeffrey Donaldson, topped the poll with just over 14,000 first preference votes.

"The unionist electorate are very unhappy with the Agreement," he said.

Mr Donaldson confirmed that some of his transfers were going to the DUP.

"That is an indication that there are traditional Ulster Unionist voters who are unhappy with what is happening, they are unhappy with the Agreement," he added.

Sinn Fein's Mitchell McLaughlin was elected on the first count in Foyle, as was DUP candidate William Hay.

In Mid-Ulster, the DUP's William McCrea topped the poll, with only 22 votes to spare over Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness, who was also elected on the first count.


Gregory Campbell has been re-elected in East Londonderry where he topped the poll.

Gerry Adams said people had endorsed his party's republican vision.

"We asked people to endorse the risks we were taking for the peace process, we stood on our record in the assembly and the executive," he said.

"I think the dialogue which we initiated with unionism has to continue."

Ulster Unionist Michael McGimspey was elected on the first count in South Belfast while his party colleague Sir Reg Empey was re-elected in East Belfast.

Mr McGimpsey said the result was very good for his party.

DUP candidates Nigel Dodds and Peter Robinson of the Democratic Unionist Party topped the poll in North and East Belfast respectively.

Iris Robinson of the DUP was elected on the first count in Strangford, where she topped the poll.

The assembly was suspended more than a year ago and the parties went into the election against the background of a deadlocked political process.

A power-sharing executive will not be re-established at Stormont immediately after the election.

A review of the workings of the Good Friday Agreement and a further round of negotiations is expected to begin after the elections.

Votes are being counted on Thursday, with a final result expected to emerge early on Friday evening, barring recounts.

Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble said he was confident the party would remain the largest unionist grouping after votes were counted.

SDLP leader Mark Durkan said he thought his party would hold its three seats in Foyle "comfortably enough" but said there was "more work to do".

The last assembly elections in 1998 returned 28 Ulster Unionists, 24 SDLP, 20 DUP and 18 Sinn Fein MLAs.

Northern Ireland Chief Electoral Officer Denis Stanley said the turnout appeared to be lower than in previous elections.

"Turnout seems to be somewhere between 50 to 60%, some of the polling stations a little higher than others," he said.

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